Craig Thomson:

Terry J Mills writes: Re. “The Power Index: timeline of the Craig Thomson affair” (Friday, item 3). In private enterprise, corporate credit cards are given to senior, sales and client facing personnel for business-related expenses, which come down essentially to travel and entertaining. At the end of each month the accounts personnel ask for details of the client/activity to which the expense is to be allocated: simple.

Any expense that does not have a business “trail” is deemed personal and paid for by the employee. Craig Thomson has said that the escort, etc, services were incurred by another employee using his corporate credit card and that the employee had since reimbursed those expenses. All that needs to be done now is for the employee in question to come clean, no matter how embarrassing, and the sleazy matter can be put to rest; the electors of Dobell can then make their views known at the next election.

Niall Clugston writes: As a former member of the Health Services Union, I don’t understand the concentration on Craig Thomson’s potential bankruptcy.  If he is innocent, of course the ALP should pay his legal bill.  If he is guilty of embezzling union funds, he should be charged, and if found guilty will have to resign.

We need investigation of the facts, not convoluted speculation about what might happen.

Victoria is strange:

Norman Hanscombe writes: Re. “No playing around, video games are an art form” (Friday, item 17). Why look for rational analyses? After all, it’s in Victoria, bastion of both the Raving Right and the Loopy Left.

Ballarat, when I lived there, had the only John Birch Society I ever encountered. More recently Melbourne had the only Unitarian Church I’ve heard about, which was owned by Mad Maoists. Melbourne produced Jim Bacon, who was the only ex-Maoist to team up with an ex-NCC, Lennon, and then succeed in them making themselves consecutive premiers of a state. Is it in the soil?

Victoria was the only state where I found a correlation between volcanic soil and the DLP vote. Or the air?  Where else has a green wind turbine energy program been stymied because a ground parrot allegedly being killed by a turbine blade?

Badger versus cattle:

John Band writes: Re. “Richard Farmer’s chunky bits” (Friday, item 13). I’m not sure the UK’s badger-versus-cattle issues are really comparable to the Indonesian live exports scandal.

A better analogy is the Hendra virus, with badgers playing the roles of flying foxes (wild native mammal), cattle the role of horses (domesticated imported species), and TB the role of Hendra (harmlessly endemic in the native mammal; harmful to the domestic one).

In both countries, even though the native mammal clearly has far more right to be left unmolested than the invasive domesticated species, powerful farming interests have been pushing heavily for culling …

Peter Fray

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